The International Cricket Council (ICC) have banned the usage of saliva to shine the ball as a precautionary measure for cricket to be played in the post-Covid-19 era. India legend Sachin Tendulkar and Australia bowling legend Brett Lee talked about the measures taken by the global cricket governing body and discussed how can cricket be kept more balanced and not let it tilt too much in the favour of batsmen.
“It’s a tough call because it’s something which we have done during our entire life. From the age of 8-9, we were told to use saliva to shine the ball. So, all of a sudden to be told something different like you cannot do that, I think it will be very hard to stop and would be very hard to police,” Lee said while speaking to Tendulkar in a video posted by 100MB.
While some former cricketers have suggested the use of sweat to shine the ball, both Tendulkar and Lee said that in cold conditions with less humidity and perspiration, the players could face trouble. “If you don’t sweat, how do you shine the ball in absence of saliva. I don’t think its fair for the bowlers and it’s a disadvantage for them,” said Lee.
“I think the ICC needs to look into that. They can assist the bowlers by giving them something they can apply to shine the ball, something which everyone agrees upon,” he added.
In the video, Tendulkar suggested that ICC could look into allowing a new ball in Test cricket after 50 overs, instead of 80 overs. He also suggested the usage of wax by bowlers to shine the ball. “Allocate a certain amount of wax per inning to be used by a team, say X grams,” suggested Tendulkar.
“Test the players say two hours prior to the game and then move with the usual things. If players are kept in a bubble, in a bio-secure environment where there are no chances of getting infected, why not go with the usual rules instead of coming with new rules?” Lee also asked.
The cricket is set to return from next month with England playing West Indies in three-match Test series starting July 8.